Redox Reactions: Discover how batteries work! Virtual Lab

Build your own battery to power an electric car! Discover the chemical reactions that power batteries by finding oxidation numbers, balancing redox reactions, and experimenting with redox reactions in the lab.

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About the Redox Reactions: Discover how batteries work! Virtual Lab

Oh no! Your electric car has broken down. Can you build your own battery to get moving again? Discover the chemical reactions that power batteries by finding oxidation numbers, balancing redox reactions, and experimenting with redox reactions in the lab, then make a recommendation to your friend Hansen about whether to replace his worn-out lead-acid battery with a new lithium-ion one.

Oxidation number and redox reactions

Join Dr. One in the redox chemistry lab to find out how redox reactions power batteries. Start by using the periodic table to predict the oxidation numbers of various compounds. Then balance the charges of half-reactions and see what happens to the oxidation numbers when electrons are lost or gained!

Redox potentials and balancing reactions

Develop and test a hypothesis about the reaction between copper and different aqueous solutions based on their reduction potentials. How can these potentials help you predict the direction of a redox reaction? Batteries can be both acidic and alkaline, so next up, join Dr. One to balance redox reactions one step at a time in both environments.

Optimize a galvanic cell

Now that you understand what a redox reaction is and what happens to the electrons, learn how this can be used to generate power in a galvanic cell. Experiment with different combinations of metal for the anode and cathode to find the most powerful duo. Will you be able to complete the reactivity series and discover another way of predicting the direction of redox reactions? Remember that you set out to find the best kind of battery to fix the electric car. With everything you now know about galvanic cells, what kind of battery do you recommend to your friend?

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Build your own battery to power an electric car! Discover the chemical reactions that power batteries by finding oxidation numbers, balancing redox reactions, and experimenting with redox reactions in the lab.

Techniques in lab
Galvanic cells, Aqueous redox reactions
Learning objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to...

  • Describe the concept of oxidation states and explain trends in the periodic table
  • Apply the rules for determining the oxidation state
  • Describe the role of the electron in reduction-oxidation
  • Predict the direction of redox reactions
  • Balance a redox reaction in both acidic and alkaline environments
Simulation features

Length: 35 Minutes
Accessibility mode: Not available
Languages: English (United States), French, German, Italian, Spanish

NGSS

HS-PS1-2, HS-PS1-5

IB

9.1 Oxidation and reduction

AP

4.9 Oxidation-Reduction (Redox) Reactions

Collaborator(s)
Gen Chem Gaps